In one off special The Real T-Rex, airing on Tuesday 2 January at 9.00pm on BBC Two, naturalist and T Rex enthusiast Chris Packham embarks on a global journey to discover the astonishing truth behind the T. Rex, the animal that has endured centuries of scientific inaccuracy and Hollywood misrepresentation.
Today, groundbreaking studies of dinosaur skin, teeth and musculature, combined with reconstructions of T. Rex’s incredible brain, are redefining this iconic dinosaur.
Was she lizard or bird? Brightly coloured or feathered? A pea-brained scavenger or a sophisticated hunter?
Meeting international experts, Chris reveals groundbreaking insights into not just what T. Rex looked like but into its behaviour, exposing the real beast behind the myth. With both a new understanding of palaeontology and zoology, and trailblazing technology, Chris then attempts to create the most accurate CGI representation of the T. Rex ever produced.
Chris has unique access to ‘Tristan’, one of the most complete Tyrannosaurus Rex fossils in the world.
Chris travels to meet Dr. Greg Erikson, whose research with alligators is revealing the true power of T Rex’s phenomenal bite. In Dino State Park in Texas, he walks in the footsteps of real and still visible dinosaur footprints, and with the help of biomechanics expert Prof. John Hutchinson and a virtual treadmill, they determine how the predator moved… and ran.
With the help of Dr. Larry Witmer, who uses CT scanning of T. Rex skulls, Chris reveals the predator’s awesome brain and exposes its secrets. Chris travels to Berlin to work with avian palaeontologist Prof. Julia Clarke to determine just how bird-like this creature would have looked and sounded, even producing the sound it may have made!
And finally he explores the Canadian Badlands, for clues that Canadian expert Dr. Phil Currie believes could blow apart the understanding of T. Rex’s social life…
The Real T-Rex With Chris Packham airs Tuesday 2 January 2018 from 9.00pm-10.00pm on BBC Two.